When thinking about onboarding, it is impossible to just think around the first day’s impressions. You need to think in weeks, months, years, far beyond the first perception.
The experience itself should be cohesive so that the person feels confident around his/her role and the company’s purpose and structure.
Effective employee onboarding before, during and after day one can mean the difference between an employee who remains engaged for years to come or an empty desk after only a few months.
Here are a few tips to consider for your new hires in order to avoid overwhelmed or lost colleagues.
- The person does not actually know who you are and what you stand for
Have in mind, that being well-aware of the identity that the company is presenting internally or externally is as important to the new hire as it should be important to the organization itself.
Provide clear guidelines and handbooks which illustrate your beliefs, values & standpoints around your culture and your work processes.
- The person is not fully aware of the products/services that you provide
No matter the industry you’re circulating in, it is essential to provide the necessary details around your services and products.
Yes, interviews usually contain a decent insight into your scope of work, however, that is not enough to begin with when you have a new person in the team.
So make a short and creative introduction and be specific! 😉
- The person is not familiar with the general organizational structure
Every organization has some kind of structure, whether it is flat or hierarchical, it doesn’t really matter as long as both sides understand their position in the company.
You can help in all sorts of ways by assigning peers/mentors to the new roles, or simply saying ‘to who you can turn to around certain matters’ so that the adaptation process of your new person feels smooth and natural.
- The person does not really know his/her own colleagues/teammates
Working in teams skyrocketed in this new and modern era. And it all started with a simple phrase ‘two heads think better than one. ’
Building and developing positive, collaborative and reliable relationships in the workspace is the engine that keeps on running when all other parts are falling apart.
It is pivotal to introduce and meet the team in the best way possible when having a new member on board, even before the first day at work. After all, you are going to spend so much time together, so getting to know each other is only the start!
- The person doesn’t know the office or workspace
The office or workspace itself is a mystery in a box on the first day. Finding regular things like: coffee, refreshments, printer, physical equipment and so on can be tiring and time-consuming to ask.
Why not make interesting and funny map sketches of the overall office/ workspace and the common working areas.
Include it in your onboarding journey and make it exciting to see!
- The person may not be aware of his/her own employment rights
Employment rights and matters around the local labor law are usually HR domain.
Of course, you can’t put all figures and facts in your policies and procedures, but common areas such as: vacation & days off, sick & maternity leave, compensation & benefits, working hours, etc could be great to have easily accessible whenever you need them.
Why spend so much time on explaining when you can save some by allocating and distributing these things in advance? 🙂
- Make the person feel welcomed
It is totally normal and common to feel as a bit of an ‘outsider’ on the first day at work.
All the new people coming in and out saying ‘hi’ may be a bit too much to bare.
Offer help, ask questions like: ‘how is your day?’ or ‘is there anything that i can help you with?’ A kind smile would do at least half of the job, so that he/she can loosen up and be their true self over time.
- The person may be going through a career change or transition
Have in mind that changing or shifting from one place to another is indeed a new and challenging chapter.
But realistically speaking, it may be stressful sometimes because of the fear of switching environments or adapting to a new network of people.
The transition itself is scary for some that are struggling whether they made the right choice, and for others it’s really brave and ambitious. Based on each personality’s behaviour, the approach should always be personalized. So take it easy and smart 🙂